The stage lights dim, the monitors hum and tension builds as Joe West prepares to take the stage. He tunes his guitar and checks over his setlist, as he has hundreds of times before. West has been at it for years now, playing rock/metal shows, self-recording and releasing albums under the project name “Declination.” However tonight is special. For the first time he will be playing songs of his newly released album “Human Blood.”
Following the lead of his first E.P. “Abyss” (2012), “Human Blood” contains brutal, invigorating riffs, with technical breakdowns and dark, disturbing lyrical imagery.
“He is definitely stepping his game up with this album,” senior Chris Richter said, “The overall production quality of this album is fantastic, from the song structure and transitions, right down to the album art.”
The first track of the album “Prelude” offers a ghoulish and completely unnerving monologue to set the theme for the rest of the album in its twisted and tortured nature. The lyrical content throughout the next 13 minutes that make up the rest of the album is a combination of harsh social commentary and almost maniacal fantasies.
“The album (to me at least), is a reflection of human life, nature, and habits,” West said.
As someone who is not generally a fan of thrash metal, I have been surprised by Declination time and time again. I’ve known West personally for several years and have had the privilege to watch him grow as an artist. The musicianship displayed on this album, (and in live performances), is phenomenal and inspiring. Even if you are not a fan of metal or rock in general, I would definitely give this album a listen.
The album can be streamed offline for free at here or purchased for a donation of a dollar or more.